Another household scammed after logging into Cook County courtroom listening to on Zoom


CHICAGO (CBS) — Families hold getting ripped off after they go surfing to Cook County courtroom hearings by Zoom. Loved ones assume they’re paying to get inmates launched from custody, solely to find con artists have scammed them out of hundreds of {dollars}.

Some of those that have been duped advised CBS 2’s Jermont Terry what they need performed.

Scam victims need some accountability from these right here on the Leighton Criminal Courthouse. They cannot perceive how scammers are nonetheless ready to go browsing and rip individuals off.

In one latest case, scammers posed as an assistant state’s legal professional.

“It’s hurtful. It’s like a knife has been stuck in my heart,” Sushi Staples mentioned.

She and her brother-in-law are livid to know they fell sufferer to a rip-off.

“I told my husband he was coming home, and he’s not,” Staples mentioned.

In May, her husband was in Cook County courtroom for an appeals listening to. After logging, on she realized their paid legal professional was a no-show. That’s when she acquired a message within the chatroom.

“An assistant state’s attorney messaged me on zoom, and said, ‘Hey, what case are you here for?’”  she mentioned.

She believed she was messaging with somebody from the Cook County State’s Attorney’s.

She mentioned she felt snug “because the assistant state’s attorney’s picture was there. His name was there.”

“He said, ‘Well, here’s the lawyer that’s stepping in for him. Log off. Call this number, and he’ll be able to assist you with case,” Staples added.

When she known as quantity, the particular person on different finish was convincing.

“They knew that he was on his post-conviction and he was up for appeal,” Staples mentioned.

The caller satisfied her that, after 15 years behind bars for homicide, Keith Pikes was getting out. Receipts present she despatched cash by way of Zelle for simply over $6,000 for launch that by no means occurred.

Last month, one other lady misplaced $500 at a bond listening to, when somebody utilizing the identical Zelle account scammed her.

“I just thought it was just us, and then I saw your story, and it was somebody else,” mentioned Keith Pikes’ brother, Johnell.

Now this household is left questioning why and the way is that this nonetheless happening.

The workplace of Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans oversees the Zoom hyperlinks, and mentioned a warning on its internet web page makes it clear by no means to pay by way of on-line apps, and warns of the rip-off. But is that sufficient?

“They defiantly need better internet security if they gonna keep the zoom,” Johnell Pikes mentioned.

“How many times does it have to happen for them to do something about it? Why are still in Zoom anyways?” Staples mentioned.

They query if the courts care in regards to the toll the rip-off is having on everybody.

“The inmates are only losing … they’re getting emotional damage. Their families are getting financial and emotional damage,” Johnell Pikes mentioned.



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